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Hello! Welcome to this week’s edition of The Connected Church News, where we bring you the Top 5 Digital and Social Media News each week for Leaders of Nonprofits, Churches, Ministries and Faith-driven Entrepreneurs.

We know you are busy. And we know that most of you don’t have the time to search the big world wide web for the current news that is relevant to you.

That is why each week we bring you the Top 5 Digital and Social Media News that you need to know for this week and present it to you in a short video format.

This week we look at news items related to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, and Messenger.

📰 Top 5 Digital & Social Media News

🗞️ News #1 – Facebook releases Shops, a free & simple social media based online store

News 1, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 5, May 2020

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Our first big news of this week is from Facebook. Last week, Facebook announced the launch of Facebook Shops, which is an online store that people can access on both Facebook and Instagram. Once you set it up on Facebook, people can access on multiple channels that belong to Facebook.

This interoperability is what makes it very interesting. It’s very similar to Amazon in the sense that people can finish a purchase right inside the app, you can make a payment and everything within the app as you go along. But what makes it interesting is the combination of channels. Facebook says that when somebody looks at a product and they have a question, they can message the organization with their question on Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. They are bringing in Instagram and WhatsApp into the equation, which makes it very, very interesting.

Facebook says eventually in the future, people will be able to even order on a chat on Instagram and WhatsApp. They can order the products that are listed on your Facebook Shop. If you are a ministry or a nonprofit that has products that you would like to take to people, then definitely check out this new product launch.

🗞️ News #2 – Twitter tests a new setting that lets you choose who can reply to your Tweets

News 2, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 5, May 2020

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Our next news is from Twitter. Last week, Twitter announced in their blog that they are testing a new setting, which will let you choose who can reply to your Tweet and join your conversation. Basically Twitter will give you 3 options. You can select whether everyone can reply to a tweet, or people you follow, or only people that you mentioned.

This is a very interesting set of options considering Twitter is a public platform. Right now they are rolling it out to a few users based on invitation. I got an invitation last week to test this feature and it has been very interesting. Some of the use cases are going to apply to ministries and nonprofits as well. So definitely check out this new feature and see if you are in the testing group. If not very soon, it should be live.

🗞️ News #3 – Instagram releases new updates and guidelines for including music in videos

News 3, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 5, May 2020

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Our next news is from Instagram. This could be a big news for some of the ministries listening to me who use music in your ‘Live’ video and other video content. Instagram has released new updates and guidelines on how to use music in videos, not just on Instagram, but also on Facebook Live. I know ministries have music in the form of say, worship or other contexts.

This is something that is important for you to check out and make sure that you are in alignment with their policies. Because the article also says that you will soon start receiving notifications that ‘if your audio is not in line with the licensing agreements or these guidelines, then it might be removed’. And that notification will actually appear in your newsfeed or in your notifications area as you upload content or when you go Live. So it’s important for you to understand these guidelines, do check it out.

🗞️ News #4 – Google released tips and tools on how to optimize Google Ads during this covid season

News 4, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 5, May 2020

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Our next news is from Google. Last week, Google released an article that I wanted to bring to your notice, which has a lot of tips about how to optimize your Google Ads specifically for this Covid-19 season. Because people’s mindsets have changed because of the lockdown. The way they interact online has changed.

Google lists these resources and gives you tips on using tools like ‘Smart bidding’ or a ‘recommendations’ page, or how to select a keyword and so on. In fact, at the end of the article, you would see one resource page that gives you a lot more information about how you can optimize your Google Ads.

I know there are many ministries and nonprofits that use Google Ads, especially through Google Grants and other provisions. So if you would like to be more effective during this season with your Google Ads, then I highly recommend that you check out this article. I will link to it in the show notes.

🗞️ News #5 – Now create Messenger ‘Rooms’ from within Instagram. Polls feature reintroduced

News 5, The Connected Church news by Natchi Lazarus, Week 5, May 2020

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Our final news of this week is about Messenger. We’ve got two interesting news items about Messenger. The first is Facebook brings back Polls option to Messenger. Earlier it was there and then they removed it to streamline it. But now because of public demand, they brought back polling. You can ask questions within Messenger and people can respond to it. That is one.

The second is even more interesting: it is an integration between Instagram and Messenger. Now, within your Instagram DM, you can open a Messenger Room. For example: let’s say you’re chatting with a few people on Instagram, which has become one of the preferred ways of communication. And then you can click on the video button and then you’ll see an option to ‘open a Messenger Room’, which has capacity to take 50 people. Then you can select some of your contacts in Instagram’s direct messaging, and then you can all go over to the Messenger app to have that video call.

The interesting thing is, it will give you a link and you can even share it with people outside, who don’t even have a Facebook account, to join that call. Do check it out. Seems like a very interesting feature that could have many applications from a nonprofit and a ministry perspective.

That’s all we have for you this week. Thank you for spending your time with us.

Have a wonderful week!

Do leave your comments, questions, feedback, and reviews. You can also email me: podcast@natchilazarus.com

We will bring you a fresh set of the latest Social Media news for you next week.

Until then, Stay Connected, Stay Blessed.

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